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Michelle Gomez wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am doing my paper on illegal immigration and I was wondering if you could help me with some questions I have. The questions are:

  • What do you believe about this global issue?
  • What do you think most of your parishioners believe about it?
  • How often do you talk about this issue in your sermons or homilies?
  • Are there any social ministries or mission trips that attempt to address this issue in our community or in the world?
  • Do you think this is a topic local churches can, and should, address?
  • What would you like to happen at these churches?

Michelle

  { Can you answer some questions for a paper I'm doing on illegal immigration? }

Bob replied:

Michelle,

We are not priests but ordinary lay persons that run this ministry so I don't think we could answer most of the questions.

My parish priests don't talk about illegal immigration not from a policy or political angle but rather from a pastoral concern angle for all persons we encounter. I don't think there is a consensus on the best approach to political or policy solutions among the parishioners.

Our parish does what we can by:

  • sponsoring a sister parish in Honduras
  • sponsoring scholarships for students, and
  • having yearly mission trips to Honduras (I have gone 3 times with the team).

My personal view is that we need more [persons/governments] that are willing to assist the third world countries with infrastructure improvements to enable people to make a better life in their homeland so migration does not become a matter of crisis.

Love is the key. Even if we can't harbor and assimilate everyone who would like to come here, there are many ways to reach out and show Christ's love and concern for their well being.

That is pretty much how our parish and priests look at it too.

Peace,

Bob Kirby

Mike replied:

Dear Michelle,

Me and Bob differ here, though I tend to agree we should not look at illegal immigration from a policy or political angle but rather pastoral concern view.

In addition to Bob's answer, let me throw in my two cents.

The United States has always been, and will always be, an English-speaking country. That said, over the past [eight] years there has been a great influx of new immigrants into the United States.

Sadly, they have been allowed into our country with little, to no, knowledge of basic American civics (the study of the rights and duties of American citizenship) or proper American courtesies.

It also appears many develop a notion that they can develop their own native subculture in America while still having an allegiance, not to the United States, but to their homeland, where they came from.

I think it is important to see what the Church says from the Catechism on this issue: Note my highlight.

The duties of citizens

CCC 2241 The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.

Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants' duties toward their country of adoption.

Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws, and to assist in carrying civic burdens.

You said:

  • What do you believe about this global issue?
  • Do you think this is a topic local churches can, and should, address?
  • What would you like to happen at these churches?

These are my personal views within the context of what the Church teaches.

I would prefer that bishops and pastors focus more on encouraging new immigrants to become American citizens rather than placating those who:

  • wish to make illegal immigration, legal or
  • omit a vetting process which allows others, hostile to Christendom, to come into our country to kill our people and Christian civilization.

Again, the Catholic Church officially teaches:

Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws, and to assist in carrying civic burdens.

  • Are Muslims who have entered our country doing this? <I hope and pray so.>
  • The main goal of the Church is the salvation of all souls but if I am in the ark of salvation and don't know how to swim, should I try to save a person I see drowning, if I end up drowning myself?

Catholics in the Church end up drowning if they don't exercise their faith (by knowing it) and practicing it in the public square.

Returning to the issue at hand in your question, with what has happened in the past eight years, we have to protect and guard our country first, before we can help others.

  • Do we really want another 9/11 for the sake of political correctness?

Just my two cents.

Mike

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